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  • Japanese Composers

    As a new guy, I have no idea if this thread even goes in this subforum, but since composer threads are always made here, I figured it would be the best place to make such a thread.

    Anyway, as the title suggests, I was curious if anyone else here paid attention to the Japanese film/TV music scene?  Now I know many of you will dismiss most of it, anime in particular, as being trite garbage filled with J-Pop.  And for the most part, you would be right... but not in the soundtrack scene.  Nowadays more than ever, it seems Japan's symphonic spirit still shines through regardless of the material it's being written for.  Every style of film scoring out there that ever existed since the early 1900s up to 70s electronica and modern day RC and Zimmer can be currently found active in the anime scene. 

    Some of my favorite composers are

    Michiru Oshima:

    Taku Iwasaki:

    Yoshihisa Hirano:

    Toshihiko Sahashi:

    Akira Senju:

    Joe Hisaishi:

    Yoko Kanno:

    Of course, I could go even deeper into other genres like electronica and some very bizarre things like dubstep opera, but I don't think any of you would be into that.

    It should also be noted that most of these composers, including all the ones I listed above, are classically trained and orchestrate and conduct their own music.  And they're all still living, with most barely over 50 years old.

    I think part of the reason anime is still capable of churning out scores like this on a regular basis is because the Japanese actually take it quite seriously, but the nature of anime is not filled with the level of cynisms that pervades Hollywood films nowadays and calls in bland walls of noise like Zimmer.  If you want the next Herrmann/Goldsmith/Rozsa, you would have a better chance of finding them in Japan now than you do in Hollywood.

    I'm hoping this helped spread a bit of awareness into your lives that good film music is far from being dead.  If only Hollywood would look east for a bit of guidance instead of profits.

  • There is some great theme music coming from Japan. I find that the composition itself from some relatively low budget Japanese TV to be far more interesting musically than most big budget movies or TV shows. I'm a big fan of Yoko Kanno and Taku Iwasaki myself. My favourite soundtrack ever is Elfen Lied, the music from that show is unbelievably good.

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    Welcome JonhM2,

    thanks for sharing these links!

    You really cought my interest with this, though:

    @JohnM2 said:

    [...] some very bizarre things like dubstep opera [...]

    Huh! Dubstep opera! Any examples you would mind to share ...? 8-)


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Dubstep Opera???

    I must admit this is the first I've heard of that fusion genre.

    But, for my money, nothing tops Hip Hop Polka.

    Forgive me for not posting an example but I don't want to be banned from the forum.


    Say, I've heard that Yodel Rap is very popular in the German Alps and throughout Austria can somebody confirm that?  Are there any Yodel Rap stars I can check out?

  • Glad to finally see some interest!

    As for dubstep opera, well, help yourselves:

    The composer, Taku Iwasaki is known for all these weird experiments.  Before dubstep opera, he tried rap opera:

    And how about dubstep Jupiter?

    As a whole he's dabbled in so many genres and experiments, but what is notable is that every single note he's written sounds like his own style, regardless of the size of the ensemble.  One cue from the Warsaw Philharmonic sounds like the same style of his chamber music.  He's certainly one of my higher-ranked favorites.

    (Your ears are not deceiving you, he's using an Ondes Martinot in that second video- when was the last time you heard that or the theremin in a Hollywood movie?)

  • Only in Japan do they hand the composer the Budapest Symphony Orchestra to write Rozsa-esque music for a goddamn smartphone game:

    I can't help but respect them for having so much appreciation for music regardless of the medium.

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    Something interesting I stumbled upon today: what if someone took one of the pieces from Inception and put it through a Bernard Herrmann filter?

    It's almost like these guys are laughing at Hollywood behind its back.

    Anyway, it's been a while since I was last here, and I don't think I will be sticking around often since I don't use VSL, but I think that for those of you who keep saying that "film music is dead" would look outside English-speaking countries. Poland, Japan, and even India to a certain extent have been far more interesting than Hollywood for the past two decades.

  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on